Fernando Perdomo at the Troubadour - photo credit: Rosario Diaz

Live Review: Fernando Perdomo at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, CA

Material: Fernando Perdomo and his “Band of Voyeurs” brought songs from his newest album, which was recorded live in front of an audience and appropriately named Voyeurs. A dreamlike state suffuses “Feels,” with a voice reminiscent of both David Gilmour and David Bowie, and in “The One You Run To,” a slow lulling melody accompanies a tale of a lover left longing. Different moods were conveyed throughout the set, including a frolicking jolliness expressed with a “toy piano” in “Stay with the Friends,” and a contrasting sweet yet sad vibe accomplished with a hushed song in “Smile.”

While Perdomo’s music impresses with its complexity, his lyrics do not level up. The artist says, for instance, that “Home” is a nod to those who miss the place they grew up in, and while wistful guitar chords convey that feeling, the lyrics “Home can be out in the stars, Home can be Venus or Mars” are not quite so resonating.

Musicianship: Perdomo’s skill and versatility is obvious in selections such as “Feels,” when he makes use of 18 open chords, as well as in a sultry Santana-esque solo in “Holding Back I Love You.” He plays his instrument fluently, and not just the electric guitar—but also the electric sitar—which delivers a welcoming flavor in “Stay with the Friends.” Keyboard and vocals are the main contributors to Perdomo’s eclectic sound, and while more bass would have been welcomed, each sound had its own place in these songs and was timed perfectly.

Performance: When presented with an opportunity to show off his skills in a solo, Perdomo grooved naturally into his instrument. For a majority of the performance, however, there was a sense of hesitation. Most of his movements felt inhibited, and when he did try for an open-arm embrace of his crowd, it looked somewhat awkward for him.

With regards to his band mates, though, the chemistry was authentic––it showed that they enjoyed playing together, which is always appreciated by an audience. Still, as the band’s frontman Perdomo could work to better engage his audience, perhaps by implementing more expressive movements as he plays.

Summary: Fernando Perdomo's strengths are his intricate arrangements and a musical proficiency that can deliver such an artfully eclectic sound. A sound as sonically creative and complex as his Voyeurs set, however, demands lyrics that are equally compelling.

The Players: Fernando Perdomo, lead vocals, lead guitar; Emeen Zarookian, bass, background vocals; Matt Tecu, drums; Paul Mouradjian, keyboards.

Photo by Rosario Diaz

Venue: Troubadour
City: West Hollywood, CA
Contact: [email protected]
Web: fernandoperdomo.com

Fernando Perdomo - "The One You Run To"

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